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To help you find the best tablets for travel, we spend a wide number of hours identifying the top-rated models and then comparing their best features and functionalities. During our research, we identified the most important things to look out for in your own hunt and ranked options based on those features. The best travel tablets offer a good combination of processing power, screen size, and portability. The option you purchase should also be durable and offer a long-lasting battery so you don’t have to pack along a portable power bank.
With these things in mind, we selected the Apple iPad 10.2 as the best tablet for travel available today. Keep reading to learn more about this powerful and user-friendly option, along with the others we identified as the best tablets for travelers.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Power and affordability come together in this user-friendly and reliable tablet for travel. With an aluminum unibody, support for Apple accessories like the Apple Pencil, and blazing fast A12 Bionic processor, this tablet is the best all-around choice for travelers.
The Apple iPad lineup is only getting better with each new generation that’s released, and the 8th-gen Apple iPad is a living testament to that fact. With a generous 10.2 inches of screen size, you’ll get stunning image quality and resolution, thanks to the revolutionary Retina display technology. The iPad features a 2160 x 1620 pixel resolution and vibrant color reproduction. Plus, you’ll be able to use the first-gen Apple Pencil on this iPad’s display, which is an even bigger plus for productivity-minded travelers and artists.
Next, the 8th-gen iPad offers Apple’s powerful A12 Bionic processor, which is one of the company’s fastest additions to the iPad lineup. This processor keeps the iOS operating system running smoothly and seamlessly, which is part of why this travel tablet is so user-friendly. With such a powerful processor, you’ll be able to stream video, play mobile video games, and take pictures and videos without a problem. You have a few different configuration options with this iPad, including different storage sizes and the option of adding cellular capabilities if you’re planning on traveling internationally. It’s one of the best iPads on our list.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: With only seven inches of screen size and 10 ounces of weight, this tablet makes for the perfect unobtrusive travel companion. Plus, it features a non-slip design, long-lasting battery, and expandable internal storage for more picture and video taking.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7.0 doesn’t do much to stand out from the crowd other than offer reliable, consistent performance in an extra-small package. Fortunately, that is more than enough to earn this handy device our Honorable Mention award. The Samsung tablet packs a lot of functionality and features into its minimal frame, but let’s first look at the build quality itself. This isn’t the most premium tablet, and thus features an all-plastic case, but it’s durable enough to store away in your bag worry-free. The back of the Galaxy Tab A 7.0 is also non-slip in design, making it easier to hold on a bumpy train or plane ride.
The Galaxy Tab’s processor leaves a little to be desired, but overall tablet performance is still smooth and reliable. You may not be able to play the latest games like Fortnite on this tablet, but you’ll still able to surf the web, read, watch movies and TV shows, and catch up on social media just fine. The Samsung tablet gives you an excellent battery life here, as well, coming in at a rated 10 hours with standard use. You’ll get a microSD card slot to expand the tablet’s minimal 8GB of internal storage, which is a good thing. For improved screen resolution, check out our best gaming tablets buying guide.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This iPad is the culmination of years of attention to detail, fine-tuning, and superb design. With the A14 Bionic processor, vivid and colorful Retina display, and premium lightweight design, this iPad provides an immersive and user-friendly experience of the highest quality.
If you value quality and reliability over all else in your travel tablet, then you can’t go wrong with the Apple iPad Air 4. This is the latest addition to Apple’s Air lineup, and it offers premium functionality and quality at a mid-range price point, making it perfect for almost any traveler. The iPad Air 4 is built with attention to detail and a high level of quality in every aspect, from the durable aluminum unibody to the 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, which gives you stunning colors and crisp resolution for excellent image quality.
The iPad Air 4 also contains the latest and greatest processor technology from Apple with the A14 Bionic chipset. This processor provides blazing fast speeds and a truly seamless and smooth user experience. You’ll also get compatibility with the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil, the best stylus on the market, and the new Magic Keyboard from Apple, both of which can increase productivity and efficiency for business applications. We were also impressed by the iPad Air 4’s 12-megapixel rear-facing camera. It can snap high-resolution pictures and capture 4K video, making the iPad Air 4 the best tablet for travel blogging.
Award: BEST DURABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This option is by far the best tablet for backpacking and other outdoor activities because of its military-grade durability, powerful camera, and long battery life. Plus, the tablet is compatible with the S Pen and attachable keyboards for an even more versatile experience.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro takes durability and rugged to the next level. With MIL-STD-810G military certification and IP68 certification, this rugged travel tablet can withstand drops, shocks, water exposure, dust exposure, and more. The included S Pen is also IP68 water-resistant. With this kind of ruggedness, the Tab Active Pro is the perfect device to take with you on camping trips or long backpacking excursions. Or, if you prefer something to chronicle your experiences, check out the best tablets for note taking.
Fortunately, the Samsung tablet doesn’t sacrifice performance and reliability in order to achieve better durability. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 octa-core processor. This isn’t the latest and greatest in mobile CPU tech, but it works well enough for the Galaxy Tab and keeps everything running smoothly overall. We were also impressed by the extra-long battery life of this tablet. It gives you 15 hours of use and the ability to swap it out for a charged battery when it’s depleted. If you like to take pictures of your backpacking trips, you’ll also be pleased with Samsung’s 13-megapixel, AR-enabled rear-facing camera. It’s a great option for anyone looking for the best tablets with keyboards that also travel easily.
Award: BEST WITH STYLUS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This tablet for travel stands out from the crowd because of its included S Pen stylus, which is an excellent accessory to have for artists, note-takers, and productivity-minded tablet users. Plus, the tablet also offers a premium design quality with thin bezels around the display and a long-lasting battery for all-day use.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite proffers up an affordable tablet experience for travelers that won’t disappoint on overall performance and functionality. For starters, this 10.4-inch tablet is designed really well, with a 2000 x 1200 pixel resolution for the display and thin bezels that make the screen look bigger. The colors are good enough here, but they could be better, especially when compared to other Samsung Galaxy tablets. The tablet is also designed with an all-metal body, which gives it a more premium feel over plastic alternatives.
We were also pleased with the inclusion of the S Pen stylus, which is really the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite’s standout feature. This active stylus works incredibly well on the tablet, and it allows you to draw, take notes, or otherwise navigate around the tablet with greater ease. The stylus works so well because of the internal Exynos 9611 processor and simple user interface commonly found on Samsung devices. We were also impressed by the 11-hour battery life that the S6 Lite provides, which should be more than enough to get you through a full day of travel before needing to be recharged. It’s a great on-the-go option for artists seeking the best drawing tablets.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: This travel tablet is the best tablet for the money in this category, and it’s also an excellent choice for kids. Thanks to its durable rubber case, extensive parental controls, and expandable internal storage, you can keep your kids busy on the road or flight without spending an arm and a leg.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is a unique travel tablet in the fact that it offers a ton of functionality at such an affordable price point. For starters, this is a travel tablet made specifically for children. It features an extra-durable rubber case to protect the device from falls and bumps. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide a screen protector, which you’ll need to purchase separately if you want added scratch resistance. The rubber case also features a kickstand so your kids can more easily operate the device on flat surfaces.
We were also impressed by the Fire HD 8’s extensive parental controls. They’re incredibly easy to use and allow you to adjust time limits, age limits, and purchase restrictions. When it comes to performance, this Amazon travel tablet does well enough for most purposes but is lacking in some areas, which is to be expected for such an affordable option. The display isn’t as high resolution or vivid as some other tablets but still looks good in most conditions. You should also be aware that the Fire HD tablet does not have access to the Google Play app store, so you may find that you can’t get as many apps as you think through the Amazon app store. It’s one of the best kid tablet options on the market, but it’s a great option for adult-users as well.
Award: BEST AUDIO QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This travel tablet gives you an excellent display quality with 8.4 inches of real estate, a 2560 x 1600 resolution, and unique curved-edge glass. Plus, it sports dual speakers that are tuned and certified by premium audio brand Harman Kardon.
The Huawei MediaPad M5 is an 8.4-inch travel tablet that focuses mainly on creating a premium user experience with a solid design and subtle, yet reliable underlying performance. For starters, the tablet’s casing is made from a durable metal material and the display takes your viewing experience to the next level. The 8.4-inch display features a stellar 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution that looks sharp, colorful, and detailed. You’ll also get curved-edge glass for a more comfortable experience. The Huawei travel tablet also sports dual speakers that give you rich, loud audio thanks mostly to the fact that they’ve been tuned and certified by Harman Kardon.
The MediaPad M5 backs this premium design up with a powerful processor and smooth UI. The Kirin 960 chipset allows you to browse without hesitation and even play most mobile games with ease. We were also pleased to find a vanilla version of Android installed on the tablet. This means you aren’t getting all the extra bloatware and strange UI features that many companies try to throw in. The MediaPad gives you a solid 64GB of internal storage but also includes a microSD card slot that you can use to expand your internal storage space for pictures of your travels. No need for the best wireless speakers with this model.
Award: BEST FOR READING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This 10-inch travel tablet is incredibly user-friendly and simple, making it a perfect choice for travelers who just need something to pass the hours. Plus, with a high-quality screen and access to Amazon’s ecosystem, this makes for an excellent reading device with added functionality when you want it.
The Amazon Fire tablets have improved a lot in recent years, and their simple and streamlined approach to tablet design makes them an excellent choice for travelers who want something reliable and easy to use. The Fire HD 10 tablet is the line’s best addition yet, and it makes improvements in several key areas. For starters, the 6300 mAh battery can easily give you a solid 12 hours of use before needing to be recharged, even on full brightness, and while streaming video. This is a marked improvement over previous generations, and even beats out other premium tablets in this category.
The Fire HD 10 tablet doesn’t have the most impressive internal processor, but it still runs the tablet with ease and keeps everything free from freezing or hesitating. This is also due in part to the incredibly user-friendly Fire OS 7 user interface. Using the Fire HD 10 is a breeze, which is perfect for travelers who don’t want all the flash so commonly found in other devices in this category. We were also impressed by the inclusion of a USB-C port on this tablet, which isn’t as common in tablets. This gives you more flexibility in the things you can connect to your tablet, as well as provides you with faster charging for your battery. It’s why we’ve designated it one of the best tablets for reading on our list.
Award: BEST FOR WORK
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you can’t decide between a tablet or laptop for travel, then you might want to consider this 2-in-1 option, which gives you both functionalities in one package. With a comfortable keyboard, bright display, and strong overall performance, this tablet is an excellent choice for traveling business people.
The Microsoft Surface Go is the best tablet for work while you’re traveling because of its lightweight and powerful design. With 10 inches of display real estate and a mere 1.15 pounds of weight, you’ll be able to get all your work done without taking up a ton of space in your bags. The Surface Go pairs with a comfortable keyboard case and Surface Pen for the ultimate choice in productivity and efficiency. We were also impressed by the full-metal body, which adds durability to the tablet. The body of the tablet even includes a pop-out kickstand for easier use.
The Surface Go is also a solid contender in the best performance race for travel tablets. With a powerful Pentium processor and solid-state drive, the tablet is fast and responsive. It works with the Windows 10 operating system, so the line between a work PC and tablet is blurred even further. Because of this performance and its overall portability, the Microsoft Surface Go is the best tablet for business travel that your money can buy today. It’s a great choice for anyone looking at the best convertible tablet.
Award: BEST FOR CREATIVES
WHY WE LIKE IT: With the innovative S Pen stylus and a colorful, vivid display, this travel tablet is an excellent choice for artists and other creatives. Plus, it offers a powerful processor and access to a unique DeX interface that operates as a PC for even more user-friendliness on the go.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is a powerful Android tablet that can be used for a wide variety of different applications, including work and gaming. However, with the inclusion of the excellent S Pen stylus, this tablet works best as a drawing tablet for traveling artists. The stylus is incredibly accurate and sensitive, allowing you to create detailed drawings or illustrations with ease. Plus, with a bright, colorful, and high-resolution display (2560 x 1600 pixels), you’ll be able to truly immerse yourself in your work while on the go.
The Galaxy Tab S4 also provides a good amount of speed and responsiveness thanks to its powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset. This octa-core processor keeps mobile games, artists applications, and the entire user interface running smoothly, which can be hard to find in good travel tablets. And while the Tab S4 runs on the Android operating system by default, you do have the option of switching to Samsung’s unique DeX user experience, which emulates a PC experience for greater work applications. Be sure to get yourself the best tablet cases to keep your device safe and secure.
When it came to deciding which products were the best tablets for travel, we started by analyzing each model’s design and how it lent itself to an on-the-road lifestyle. For starters, we only included tablets on our list that were 10 inches or smaller in screen size, since they tend to be the most portable. On top of that, we awarded bonus points to tablets that were lighter in weight and thinner than competing models.
Next, we looked at durability and build quality. If you’re purchasing a travel tablet, you want a long-lasting product that won’t get scratched or broken at the slightest touch. We preferred options made from metal, as they tend to be more durable, but didn’t exclude plastic tablets from our ranking. We also awarded bonus points to tablets that went out of their way to include durability-specific features like water resistance or shatter resistance.
Finally, we ranked each travel tablet based on its overall performance. We scored tablets higher in our analysis if they offered current-gen processors and streamlined user interfaces or operating systems. These tend to work well across the board, so you won’t have to worry about inconvenient freezing or stuttering. We also awarded bonus points to tablets with standout features like high-resolution cameras or 4K displays.